Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the club that gets cards at over twice the rate of Arsenal


By Bulldog Drummond

The referee is Peter Bankes.  He has overseen seven games so far…


Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Yel pg Yel
Peter Bankes total 7 22.57 0.68 5.43 38
Peter Bankes home 7 10.00 0.68 2.29 16
Peter Bankes away 7 12.57 0.67 3.14 22


Mr Bankes figures are generally mid-table except when it comes to yellow cards where on 5.43 yellow cards per game he is the third highest giver of cards.   2.29 cards go to the home team and 3.14 to the away team, so there is either a desperate bias against away teams, or the away teams are seriously getting desperate when playing in front of him.

As for results let us compare three referees.   Mr Bankes has only seen 28.6% of his games as home wins, compared to Simon Hooper who has 71% home wins.   But Mr Bankes doesn’t care for away wins either – it is the draw that he likes, and 42.9% of his games end in draws.  No referee who has overseen three games or more in the Premier League has overseen more draws.

So we can be clear – this looks like a fairly certain draw now we know who the referee is – unless of course he changes his mind, now that we have made this point public.  It is up to Arsenal to beat the referee – and not for the first time


Referee Games HomeWin% AwayWin% Draw%
Robert Jones 10 50.0 10.0 40.0
Stuart Attwell 7 42.9 57.1 0.0
Peter Bankes 7 28.6 28.6 42.9


In terms of fouls per tackle Mr Bankes works at the rate of 0.68 fouls per tackle both for the home team and the away team.   Figures here are per game

Tackles Fouls Yellow from tackles Yellow from unprofess All yellow
Arsenal 15.7 9.5 1.62 0 0.45
Wolverhampton 19.2 13.8 1.0 0.38 3.15


As we can see Arsenal do far less tackling than Wolverhampton – Wolverhampton putting in 22% more tackles, and thus committing more fouls.  But their figures show what a silly idea this is because Wolverhampton are knocking up 45% more fouls against themselves than Arsenal, (yet only putting in 22% more tackles).

Arsenal can put in 62% more tackles than Wolverhampton before getting a yellow card, and it is noticeable that Arsenal have not had a single card for unprofessional behaviour this season.

So all in all Arsenal have 17 yellow cards from 13 games and Wolverhampton have 41 yellow cards from the same number of games.   That difference is huge – Wolverhampton are picking up cards at a rate of 2.41 the times that Arsenal get them.

Now when we debated this before Wolverhampton fans asserted en masse that this was proof that they were being shafted by the referees, but if that is the case, and the club realises that is the case, why don’t they do what Arsenal did, when they reached the same conclusion in the early days of Arteta’s reign?

Yes, Arsenal were being shafted – which is why they were top of the league for yellow cards.   But he changed the club’s style and so took Arsenal to the bottom of the league.  That shows it can be done.

The most yellow-carded team in the league is Chelsea with 44 cards so far.  Wolverhampton are in second place with 41 – and that really is round about two and a half times as many as Arsenal.

Here is the list of the players with the most yellow cards, from the Premier League’s site – and only PL games are counted here.   Four out of the 17 highest carded players in the league are Wolverhampton players – that is 24%.  No other club has even three players in the list apart from West Ham United.

And that really is where Wolverhampton are going wrong.  They are getting yellow cards…  And if they believe that is ref bias, as Arsenal did, they should do what Arsenal did.  Stop tackling.


Rank Player Club Cards
1. Nicolas Jackson Chelsea 7
2. Edson Álvarez West Ham United 6
2. Anthony Gordon Newcastle United 6
2. Emerson West Ham United 6
5. Yves Bissouma Tottenham Hotspur 5
5. Nélson Semedo Wolverhampton Wanderers 5
5. Marc Cucurella Chelsea 5
5. Josh Cullen Burnley 5
5. Craig Dawson Wolverhampton Wanderers 5
5. João Gomes Wolverhampton Wanderers 5
5. Bruno Guimarães Newcastle United 5
5. Aaron Hickey Brentford 5
5. Boubacar Kamara Aston Villa 5
5. Mario Lemina Wolverhampton Wanderers 5
5. João Palhinha Fulham 5
5. Alexis Mac Allister Liverpool 5
5. Lucas Paquetá West Ham United 5


Now of course it can be argued that this is a referee conspiracy – in which case it would be good to see a Wolverhampton website that is exploring this in detail (see here for example) – as I feel Untold does in relation to Arsenal – and has done over the years.  (That is after all how we discovered the way Leicester were beating the system).   But if no one can be bothered… well…

3 Replies to “Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the club that gets cards at over twice the rate of Arsenal”

  1. Note to our wingers. John Radford wore a pair of shinpads on each leg . Perhaps the Arsenal will develop and patent the All round Arsenal shinpads to combat unscrupulous dangerous tackles.

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